Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Alex Boone has signed with the Minnesota Vikings, the team announced on Thursday. Boone is one of the top offensive linemen in the league and has the size and skill to play on the outside or the interior of any offensive line. He will make $26.8 million with $10 million fully guaranteed on the four-year deal, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today.
Boone, originally brought in as a tackle by the 49ers, was considered too big to play guard but he ended up becoming the team's starter at right guard and he excelled there. He was unarguably one of the top right guards in the league, but was also the team's swing tackle and when injuries occurred, he played at both left and right tackle, also at a high level.
This past season, Boone started at the left guard spot and was one of the only players who played well on that line last season. Boone has looked like an above-average player at every position he's played, which put his value on the open market up for debate. Boone feels like he can be a starting tackle, which would mean he'd want more money.
Boone played in and started 13 games for the 49ers last season. He became a full-time starter in 2012 and has missed four games since then. Boone was an undrafted player out of Ohio State in 2009. At 6'8 and 300 pounds, he certainly has the imposing frame and fortunately, he has the skills to complement it.
The offensive line was considered one of Minnesota's top needs heading into this offseason, and protecting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has to be a priority. The Vikings made the playoffs last season despite Bridgewater being pressured on nearly a third of his dropbacks. The Vikings offensive line has allowed Bridgewater to be sacked 83 times in 29 career games. Boone should provide some much-needed stability along the line for the Vikings.
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